Relationships are important. Whether they are connections at work or with friends, partners, family, we all know we need to have good interpersonal relationships to help keep us sane. Having a solid support system can be very helpful, especially when you’re going through tough times. Your support group can allow you to unload your problems and help you cope.
Having a support system is part of good social wellness or social health. Social wellness, defined as one’s ability to form and maintain relationships, involves using good communication skills, having meaningful relationships, and respecting yourself and others. Aside from fostering positive relationships, cultivating social wellness is necessary to help improve overall health and promote mental wellbeing.
Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t neglect social wellness:
Having more social relationships may lead to longer life expectancy.
In their paper on social relationships and health, Sociology experts Debra Umberson and Jennifer Karas Montez of the University of Texas at Austin found scientific evidence that social connection is related to mortality. The risk of death among individuals with few social ties was more than twice as high as for those with many social ties.
People who grew up in supportive environments benefit from the healthy development of regulatory systems (e.g., immune, endocrine, cardiovascular), which will have long-term consequences for adult health. For adults, having social support reduces physiological responses to stress. You’re less likely to suffer a heart attack if you have a solid support system helping you deal with stressors.
Socializing more often can boost self-esteem.
Through connecting with people, you get to enhance your communication skills. Assertiveness, for example, is a core communication skill that can help you stand up for yourself while also thinking about the rights and beliefs of others. Being assertive teaches you that saying “no” to more responsibility – especially when you’re super busy – is not a bad thing, but a good self-care measure. It will earn you the respect of others and increase your respect for yourself, too.
Social wellness can help improve mental health.
The emotional support you receive from your interpersonal relationships can help enhance your psychological wellbeing. Your social links can help you take comfort in the fact that your thoughts and feelings are worth listening to, that you are valued. Being able to share your highs and lows with your confidants can also help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Socialization can help generate a better stress response.
Whenever we feel stressed, more often than not we look to our friends and family to help us out. Whether it’s a good long talk with loved ones or a fun night out with close friends, spending quality time with people can help recharge our batteries and feel refreshed.
Social connectedness can help enhance personal control.
Personal control is the sense of having power over the direction of your own life. Having meaningful relationships can lead a person to take more responsibility for their life to be there for their loved ones. Parents may feel more responsibility to stay healthy so that they can be around their kids. Knowing people are counting on you can foster a sense of meaning and purpose in life, reducing your risk for unhealthy behaviors.
Your social wellness is vital to your life because it affects every part of your overall health and wellbeing —from physical to mental and emotional, even financial. Want to also start taking care of your financial wellbeing? Schedule a financial checkup session here with our financial advisors.